(Photo: Screen Grab via NBC News)
A 10-year veteran of the New York Police Department (NYPD) was arrested on Tuesday for his role in the beating of a wealthy executive in front of his family during a wild high-speed brawl along the West Side Highway in Manhattan, N.Y., on Sept. 29 and is expected to face charges in Manhattan Criminal Court Wednesday.
According to a CBS News report, undercover Detective Wojciech Braszczok, 32, surrendered on Tuesday and now faces riot and criminal mischief charges. He is reportedly one of no less than three officers who participated in the controversial fracas that first attracted national attention in a viral video posted on YouTube.
Another biker from the incident, Clint Caldwell, 32, was also arrested Tuesday and charged with gang assault, assault and criminal mischief according to NBC News.
A spokesperson from the New York County District Attorney's Office told The Christian Post that Braszczok is expected to be arraigned around noon on Wednesday and other reports indicate that Caldwell will face the court as well.
"As we said from the beginning of the investigation, the NYPD and the District Attorney's Office are methodically scrutinizing the evidence to build the strongest possible cases in our continuing effort to hold accountable those responsible," Erin Duggan, a spokeswoman for the district attorney noted in the NBC News report.
Braszczok's lawyer, Phil Karasyk, argued on Monday that his client had only witnessed other bikers attacking the vehicle. Investigators have since discovered video evidence, however, showing the veteran officer punching a damaged back window of the SUV that was being driven by Manhattan executive Alexian Lien, 33, with his wife and 2-year-old daughter inside.
Sources in the report say the video also shows the detective kicking the SUV twice before leaving the scene.
Internal affairs investigators from the NYPD began looking into Braszczok because he did not immediately report his presence at the rally but waited three days when the incident had already become a media event.
Karasyk who works with the Detectives' Endowment Association union, said his client did not help the SUV driver because he was aware of cases where undercover officers lost their job or were suspended for blowing their cover so he "had no other option" than to drive away from the scene.
President of the NYPD detectives' union, the Detectives' Endowment Association, Michael Palladino, told NBC News on Monday that the arrested officer was forced to make a difficult decision.
"Compromising his identity could compromise all the work he's doing and his safety as well," said Palladino. "It's very difficult to lead a double life."
Braszczok's past undercover work reportedly includes work within the Occupy Wall Street movement.